So you have decided to try DNA Genealogy? Good decision!
Now that you want to join a DNA Surname Project, who should you test? This is a great question and it depends on what you want to know.
The Paternal Line:
To DNA test an actual surname, you must test a male member of your family who has that surname. If you are a male genealogist researching your surname, you can take the test yourself. It is a simple cheek swab that is returned in a supplied mailer. It takes about 8 weeks for the results to be posted from the time you return the sample.
If you are a female genealogist, you must enlist a male of that surname: a brother, father, your father's brother or one of his sons (a male cousin). An example would be...you were born a Jones, so you must find a male Jones family member willing to submit to the cheek swab. It could be your brother or your father. If there are no immediate family members to test, you must look for a brother of your father or the son of a your father's brother. You cannot test the son of your father's sister; it must be a straight line male from your paternal side. If you want to test a nephew, it must be your brother's son and not your sister's.
Click here to see the FTDNA inheritance chart open in a new window.